Vancouver is a city located in the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada. It is the most populous city in the province, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada, and plans to become the greenest city in the world. Known for its culture, surrounding nature, tourism, international events, and urban planning, Vancouver is a popular tourist spot.
If you’re thinking of going on an e-bike adventure in Vancouver, this article will answer all your questions!
E-biking rules in Vancouver
According to BC e-bike laws, electric bicycles must abide by the following requirements:
- Must not have an electric motor that is more powerful than 500W
- Should not travel faster than 32 km/hr (20 mph)
- When traveling at speed of 30 km/hr, the motor assisted cycle must come to a full stop within 9 meters from when brakes were applied
- Must have fully operable pedals (i.e. engine must disengage when the operator stops pedaling)
- Wheels must have a diameter of 13.8 inches or more, and must not have more than 3 wheels touching the ground
Class 1 e-bikes can ride on any BC Parks trail where mountain bikes or other cycling is permitted. However, Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are only permitted on trails and roads that are designated for motor vehicles. For more information on e-bike rules in BC, visit this E-bike BC link here.
Read also: Best known electric bicycle brands in Canada. And, Rules & regulations for traditional and speed e-bikes in Canada.
If you’re planning on taking your e-bike on transit, here’s what you need to know! The Vancouver transit system is called the TransLink, which includes buses, trains, and ferries. Electric bikes are permitted onboard the SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express services.
E-bikes are also permitted on bus bike racks, as long as they are under 25 kg (55 lbs), their wheels fit properly in the bike rack, the bike has a lithium battery, and the battery is removed and brought on board the bus. For more information, visit TransLink’s “Bikes on Transit” page!
For bike parking in the city of Vancouver, options include traditional bike racks, U-shaped bike racks, and bike lockers provided by TransLink. Traditional bike racks can be found throughout the city and in downtown EasyPark lots; U-shaped bike racks, which can hold up to two bikes at a time, can also be found throughout the city; and bike lockers are available at most SkyTrain stations and Park and Ride locations, and can be rented on a monthly basis. Visit the city of Vancouver’s “Bike Parking” webpage to learn more!
Is Vancouver e-bike friendly?
As a city that is renowned for its outdoor activities, Vancouver is an extremely bike-friendly city!
Some of the top bike routes in Vancouver include Stanley Park, Sunset Beach – False Creek – Kitsilano Beach, Central Valley Greenway, Queen Elizabeth Park – VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Jerico Beach – UBC – Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Deep Cove, Seymour Demonstration Forest, Iona Beach, Richmond/River Road, and Cypress Mountain. For more route information, download the Vancouver Cycling Map by visiting this webpage here!
To charge your e-bike, there are various places in the city where you may be able to set up your electric bike for charging. This includes coffee shops, public libraries, universities, bike shops, campgrounds and parks, grocery stores, and gas stations. You can also visit BC Hydro’s website to see where the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are located in Vancouver.
If you are looking to rent your e-bike in Vancouver, there are many options to choose from! Bees Knees Rentals offers options in 2, 4, 7, and 24-hour increments, as well as daily and even monthly options for longer term rentals; Jo-E-Cycles has options for 2-hour, 3-hour, half day, and full day rentals; Cycle Vancouver offers short and long term rental options; Yes Cycle allows e-bike rentals for 3-hour increments; Coastal Cogs offers half day and full day e-bike rentals, and rentals additionally come with a helmet and bike lock; E-Nic offers e-bike rentals on a reservation basis; and English Bay Bike Rentals has e-bikes that can be rented for 1 – 6 hours, a full day or 24 hours.
Read also: How to select the best commuter e-bike (with examples)? – also in this article. And, how much does a commuter e-bike cost?
If you are interested in taking an e-bike tour, check out Cycle Vancouver, Yes Cycle, Bici E-bikes, and Bees Knees for their tour options!
How is the weather and city traffic in Vancouver? Is it fun to ride an e-bike in Vancouver?
Rush hour periods in Vancouver are typically the heaviest between 7 – 9 AM and 4 – 6 PM on weekdays. On weekends, traffic is considered light throughout the city. As such, we recommend that e-cyclists avoid riding on roads between rush hour times if possible.
The best time of the year to visit Vancouver is between March and May, and September to November. This is because the weather is comfortable and mild, and accommodation rates are not as high as during the summertime.
Springtime (March – May) is considered one of the best times to visit Vancouver because of the rising temperatures from winter, averaging between 10 – 16 degrees Celsius (50s and 60s Fahrenheit). Blooming flora and fauna make for lively landscapes, and various special events and festivals draw tourists here during this time. However, spring is not quite the peak tourist season, making for fewer crowds.
Summer (June – August) is the high season for tourism. Temperatures range from 19 – 21 degrees Celsius (60s and 70s Fahrenheit), and is a popular time for swimming, cruises, cycling, special events, and many other outdoor activities. If you are planning to visit Vancouver during this time, be prepared for high prices, and be sure to book in advance!
The autumn season (September – November) is another period with fewer crowds, pleasant temperatures, and lower accommodation prices. There are still plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, and parks are filled with the changing fall colors.
Read also: Can electric bikes get wet? And, Can I ride an e-bike in winter?
Winter (November – February) sees colder weather, attracting winter sports enthusiasts like skiers and snowboarders. For cyclists, we recommend avoiding coming during this time, as the weather can be quite chilly and rainy.
When you’re visiting Vancouver, there are many things to do and see! Don’t miss out on Stanley Park, Granville Island, Vancouver Aquarium, Queen Elizabeth Park, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver Seawall, Vancouver Downtown, and Vancouver Lookout. Visit Trip Advisor for more sightseeing recommendations! Visit Booking.com if you would like to book a room.
Vancouver city landscape, the best type(s) of e-bikes to ride in this city
Vancouver is a city that includes both flat and hilly terrain, and you will encounter more mountains, peaks, and valleys when venturing outside of the city proper.
If you know you will primarily be sticking to the city’s core and taking paved, flat routes, a city cruiser or commuter e-bike is suitable for your journey. However, if you are planning to explore Vancouver’s parks, mountains, and other natural landscapes, an electric mountain bike (eMTB) or hybrid e-bike is strongly recommended.
Read also: How much elevation / altitude can electric bikes climb? And, Can electric bikes go up steep hills?
Where can I buy an e-bike in Vancouver?
There are tons of places to buy an e-bike in Vancouver!
Rad Power Bikes offers delivery or an in-store pickup at its Vancouver Showroom location.
For store options where you can purchase your e-bike online and get it shipped to you, check out Cite Cycles and Rize Bikes.
For options where you can either get your e-bike shipped to you or pick it up in-store, visit BSP Bikes, Vintage Iron Cycles, and Oh My Cycles. Ebike Universe can also deliver your e-bike to you, or you can visit their brick-and-mortar location in Vancouver.
Lastly, for in-store purchases only, you can visit the e-bike store Reckless!
Read also: Best e-bike financing options in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia. And, Rent, buy, or lease an e-bike?
Where can I repair an e-bike in Vancouver?
There are a number of e-bike shops you can visit for repairs in Vancouver.
For full-service e-bike repairs, go to Oh My Cycles or BC Ebike. Bees Knees Rentals offers a range of services such as basic tune-up, wheels, brakes, and gears. Ebikes BC offers full-service e-bike repairs, battery repair, and motor installation. BSP E-bikes offers a 24-hour service for e-bike repairs. Lastly, cyclists can find a free, foot-operated air pump is located on the Adanac bike route at Union Street and Hawke Street.
Where can I recycle e-bike batteries in Vancouver?
To find out where you can recycle e-bike batteries in Vancouver, visit the Canadian Call2Recycle locator map (and toggle the “Accepts eMobility Batteries” option in the Search Filter) to find the nearest option to you.
Some options listed on the map include Bikes for All, Reckless Electric Bike Store, Comor Sports Kitsilano, Obsession Bikes, and Steed Cycles.
Read also: Check out Canada’s best travel destinations by electric bike.
Vancouver programs to develop cycling infrastructure
As a city that actively encourages green transportation like cycling and walking, Vancouver has multiple initiatives in place to further develop its cycling infrastructure and safety.
Current initiatives include the 10th Avenue Corridor Project; 14th Ave, Alder St, and Prince Edward St Bike Routes; Union-Adanac Corridor; Comox-Helmcken Greenway; Downtown bike network expansion; Seaside Greenway Completion and York Bikeway; and Stanley Park Cycling Plan.
Visit the city of Vancouver’s “Improving Our Cycling Network” page to learn more!